Last Saturday was the first I've seen of this year's Bronx grapes from Lagier Ranches of Escalon, probably the only grower of this variety.It's a wonderfully sweet seedless grape with a unique taste and an intensity reminiscent of a muscat grape.Everyone we've given it to has loved it. As for its unusual name (grapes in the Bronx??), it's partly a result of Cornell University's custom of naming its grape varieties after geographic places in New York state (e.g., Steuben, Erie, Seneca, Buffalo, Suffolk red listed on their web site). More detailed information came to me in an e-mail from Cornell:
"Table grape breeding at the Station began in 1888, but breeding for seedless table grapes didn't begin until 1919. This project started as a cooperative venture between the Station and the NY Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. The project leader was Dr A B Stout of the Botanical Gardens. He directed the project from 1919 until his retirement in 1948. The first grape named was called Stout Seedless and his 2nd grape was the Bronx Seedless. The cross was made in 1925 and 68 seedlings were raised. Bronx Seedless was selected from among those 68 seedlings in 1931 and officially named in 1937."
This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about a grape variety, but it gives new meaning to "knowing what you eat".
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